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ALEXAKDEE  VON   HUMBOLDT.                  77
Ibeen travelling on the river and in the valleys for
thirty-five clays, and remained in Bogota till Sep-
tember, occupying themselves with botanical and
geographical researches, and admiring and studying
the magnificent natural formations of the rocks and
waterfalls of Tequendama, the mines, and the pic-
turesque remains of former earthquakes. On a dan-
gerous path over the inconvenient pass of the Andes
of Quindiu, whose highest point is 11,500 English
tfeet above the sea, they proceeded to Popayan; in the
rain, quite wet through, and barefoot on the soft soil,
sleeping under the free heaven at night, and awaking
exhausted in the morning, they passed through the
Canca valley, visited the snow-covered volcanoes,
Purace and Sotara, through Pasto, a little town situ-
ated at the foot of a burning volcano, crossed the
equator, and arrived at Quito on the 6th January,
1802, after a journey of four months.
Here Humboldt soon recovered from the effects of
the clangers and privations of the journey., in the
highly agreeable and eqxiable climate of this country,
and lie employed his stay of nearly nine months, in
geological and botanical studies; his sense for natural
"beauty and cheerful landscapes finding abundant food
for gratification in the enchanting situation of the
place, opposite long ranges of gigantic snowy moun-
tains. He ascended the crater of the volcano Pich-
inclia, though not without trouble, and several un-
successful trials. On it, he made experiments on the
electric, magnetic, and hydraulic properties of air,
measxtred altitxides, and, indeed, studied the chain of
the Andes, in a geognostic point of view, so funda-
mentally that his works became the most impor-
tant materials for the foundation and prosecution
of the study of modern geognosy. He wandered
to the majestic snowy tops of the Antisana, and of
the Cotopaxi, the highest volcano of the Andes, whose
thunders are often heard at a distance of 200 English
miles, at Honda, on the river Magdalen j he ascended
Tunguragua with Bonplaixd and. a young enthusiast